|| CF Correspondent ||
Malinga came to bowl through a guard of honour while when he batted a guy followed him carrying the national flag with him.
Will Mashrafee bin Mortaza be as lucky as Malinga as the latter said goodbye on his own terms while the other remains unsure of his future where he had devoted 18 years of his life.
Malinga wanted to say goodbye in front of his fans and he has got his wish fulfilled with the crowd cheering him from the very beginning of the match and it looked there was mad rush to get a ticket of the game though SLC announced earlier that all tickets were sold out.
The posters of Malinga were placed almost in every corner of Premadasa Stadium in Colombo just to make sure their legend gets a fitting farewell.
There were lots of people in and around the ground who were seen roaming in search of the ticket for the opening ODI’s that was announced earlier as “sold out” products.
The entire atmosphere suggest the way Islanders used to love and respect their idol and despite all their agony wanted to make sure that they give their legend a fitting farewell against Bangladesh in the opener of the three-match series.
Mashrafee also have a similar wish but the way things stands it is far from truth that it is guaranteed considering the ways things are going at the moment in Bangladesh cricket fraternity.
Mashrafee retirement talks started since he joined politics last year as some quarter suggested he would not be able to concentrate on the same level in sports and balancing to the games will be difficult.
During the ODI series against West Indies there was a rumor in the air that the match against the tourist in Sylhet will be the last game of Mashrafee at his own back yard.
At that point Mashrafee insisted that he would take a decision on his retirement after returning back from the World Cup.
In the World Cup he again hogged the entire spotlight by announcing that he wants to continue cricket even after the global tournament.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan insisted that they are planning to give a farewell match to Mashrafee and at their home following the announcement made by Mashrafee during a session with the media at the parliamentary World Cup.
Before he was ruled out from the tour of Sri Lanka, during the official press conference ahead of the series Mashrafee insisted that his retirement talks can be news for media but for him it is easier said than done.
When asked whether he was thinking it[ Sri Lanka tour] to be his last tour that eventually did not happen for him due to his injury, Mashrafee answered in a different tone where his confidence looked to be much lower than how it used to be.
To be honest it up to you how you take it. I cannot say it that way because I am not thinking in that line. Its true that we don’t have matches for a long time after the tour. It can be news for you but for me it is more than that. For you just writing a few lines can be all that matters but for me it is more than that so I have to think,’’ said Mashrafee.
‘’It’s true that there will be criticism due to my performance in the World Cup as I failed to perform as a bowler while could not lead the side and fulfill the expectations,’’ he said, who took only one wicket in the World Cup while failed to take the team to the semi-final of the tournament.
If BCB insiders are to be believed Mashrafee might be thinking whether he made a mistake of not bowing out from Lords as things are not as it used to be with the BCB high-ups.
According to BCB Bangladesh ODI skipper has been ruled out of upcoming Sri Lanka tour due to his hamstring injury as he sustained the injury while bowling on central net, during practice.
However, Mashrafee insisted that he can make it into the tour but BCB high-ups decided to think in the same line and asked him to take rest.
‘’According to him he could have played from the second game but probably our high-ups had other ideas, said an insider of the national dressing room.
What needs to be taken into consideration is that Bangladesh don’t have any ODI matches in the immediate future as they will be playing Afghanistan in the Twenty20 series followed by a tour in India where they will play Test and T20’s while they will BCB will host two T20Is between an Asia XI and a World XI in March 2020, as part of the extensive nationwide celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh's founding father.
Earlier it looked like these matches would be considered as the farewell game of Mashrafee but as the format changed it will certainly not be the case unless BCB manages to change the format that looks very slim.
While SLC made no stones unturned to make sure Malinga receives a proper farewell with the prevailing situation it just might not be the case with Mashrafee unless BCB tries to arrange any ODI series out of no where.